Jazz To Play On Without Okur

Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Whatever the Jazz do in these playoffs, they’ll have to do it without Mehmet Okur.

He’s done for at least the next three to six months after rupturing his left Achilles in Game 1 of the Western Conference first round series between the Jazz and Nuggets Saturday night in Denver.

***

***

The Jazz were already up against it trying to upend the Nuggets without the aid of the home court advantage and without the services of defensive stopper Andrei Kirilenko (calf strain) during this postseason.

Okur’s injury all but seals the fate of a Jazz team that, for a time, appeared to be a legitimate contender in the West.

But not anymore.

Not without two of their most crucial pieces sidelined with injuries. As crippling as Okur’s injury is to the Jazz, Kirilenko’s absence might be even more devastating for the Jazz.

Carmelo Anthony feasted on the replacements in Game 1, pounding them for 42 points.

If Jerry Sloan‘s team has any chance in the series, and their hopes are fading with every injury update, it’ll be with Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer channeling their best Stockton-Malone routine from here on out.

But Okur’s injury seemed to deliver a blow to their hopes for making some noise in this series as well.

Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune has some context for Okur’s surgery and recovery, details:

“For it to end like this is horrible,” Carlos Boozer said of Okur’s season, adding, “He had tears in his eyes last night.”

Deron Williams said “we pretty much knew right away” that Okur had ruptured his Achilles. “It’s almost you wish like he would have sat down,” Williams added, “but he was out here playing with us and battling and competing.”

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan will attempt to regroup his team for tonight’s Game 2, in which he will start one of his two young centers — Kyrylo Fesenko or Kosta Koufos — in Okur’s absence. He spoke of a crushing injury like Okur’s as the “cold, hard facts of this business.”

“When somebody gets hurt, it’s kind of a sick feeling,” Sloan said, “but you’ve got to get over that from our standpoint and get ready to play basketball.”

I guarantee the entire Jazz nation has that same sick feeling!

***

One Comment

  1. OKCLAKERS says:

    dang…good luck utah